Authorities continue to wage war against growing cases of academic fraud in order to give credibility to research projects.
It is certainly with consternation and disdain that Cameroonian academicians worthy of the name learned of what is said to have happened in one of their Universities where 17 PhD theses were rejected on plagiarism.
Even though, the Rector of the Universities of Yaounde II, Soa has set up a commission to further investigate into the issue following the publication of the list of intellectual culprits, it is important to note that intellectual dishonesty is not only an affair of the University of Yaounde II, Soa.
The system put in place which has succeeded in detecting the fraud is already in application in several other universities including the Catholic University of Central Africa. The device, in effect, enables University authorities to know whether or not the percentage of copy work found in the candidate's research work surpasses that set by the institution.
That, exactly, was the case in UY II. Without justifying what incidentally is a crime in academia, it is important to once more state inter alia that the practice was already reaching greater height in many higher institutions.
The advent of internet seems to have rather worked in favour of plagiarism by opening up multiple channels through which candidates undertaking research and this happens notably with lazy ones, resort to in search of credibility. The danger in all this is that many students do not seem to understand what plagiarism is all about and the academic sanctions awaiting them.
Some actually know but are lazy to look for what is original. Plagiarism, it should be recalled, is the wrongful appropriation, stealing and publication of another author's language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions and the representation of them as one's own original work. Plagiarism is considered academic dishonesty.
It is subject to sanctions like penalties, suspension, and even expulsion. Plagiarism, according to some specialists, is not in itself a crime, but can constitute copyright infringement. It is not defined or punished by law, but rather by institutions (including professional associations, educational institutions, and commercial entities, such as publishing companies).
Engaging a fight against copy work in the university is just the right thing to do in order to give credit to what may come out as certificates from Cameroonian Universities. Research at the doctorate level is considered the height of all research. That is why a student who succeed in emerging victorous in his or her defence is highly celebrated.
That is equally why, the defence is usually a public event and in most cases published in the media. Academic research in the real sense of the word is a systematic investigation into a problem or situation where the intension is to identify facts and or opinions that will assist in solving the problem or dealing with the situation. Doctorate research is about making a rigorous and relevant contribution to knowledge.